5 Really Useful Project Management Methodologies for 2021
What does project management mean in the present-day business? Broadly speaking, it means everything. Every step and every decision are accompanied by a clear plan with good judgment – only this way it is possible to attain success in the work.
But how to choose the right and effective technique for working on the project?
In this article, we decide to investigate the most popular project management methodologies (PMM) that are talked about everywhere.
Project management methodologies: what it is & what it is for
There it is important to emphasize that true project management methodologies help companies to create a uniform workflow that will ensure smooth and continuous work on projects, avoiding serious mistakes and muffs. These methodologies serve as rails for business and lead the company to success and prosperity.
PMMs can be used greatly for many reasons, as follows:
- any kinds of projects (small, big or enterprise) that require some special conditions of their development and implementation
- organization of work of the whole company (of any scale) or a separate department, for example, in cases opening of a new branch with new employees
- tuning of qualitative interaction between employees, clear distribution of leading roles and strict adherence to service instructions
The most famous kinds of project management methodologies
Before we begin to look at the various methodologies, it should be noted that each project is unique in its own way and can have its own development requirements. Therefore, choosing any of the methodologies of project management, it is worth focusing on future work and follows the most flexible system.
PMM 1. Agile
It is a real headline in project management methodologies – practically every company is ready to implement Agile-like work. And such popularity and demand are quite deserved and explainable.
Agile represents itself as the methodology with reference on the fastest and most operational approach to project implementation. This methodology is based on the most convenient choice of team members and their high working skills. Speaking about Agile, most often it is meant several different techniques of work such as Scrum, Lean (with Kanban), XP (Extreme Programming), Crystal, and others.
In general, all Agile practices have a lot of common points and the following expressed advantages:
- The basis of the work is in constant cooperation inside the team and also with the customer. Human relationships are always more important than some momentary benefits.
- Agile is the thing about a flexible approach to changes and full readiness for their implementation in the project. It allows developers and customers to minimize their risks of the business failure – it is possible to add something more useful and profitable in the project at any time and save the idea.
However, Agile may be less effective in the following cases:
- If your project requires a very clear and detailed plan with the stated stages of development. Agile does not provide such clarity – there is the spirit of some kind of uncertainty with the preparedness to remake everything from scratch.
- If the constant interaction with a customer is impossible or burdensome. Indeed, it’s good practice – to follow all the affairs of the project and keep in touch with all the involved persons, but not all customers are ready to give it from themselves.
PMM 2. Waterfall
This project management methodology is the oldest one known in the world – it was founded in 1970 by Winston Royce, a famous person in the software development industry. Despite its age, this approach is considered to be very actual in the present time, and here is why.
Waterfall is a quite strict system of work that is directed to the clearest idea about the project, its needs and ways of its implementation. The approach requires an accurate division of the project work into several parts, where the first is data collection and requirements analysis and the last is the project launching. A distinctive detail of Waterfall is an absolutely consistent work: the jump to a new stage is accompanied by the mandatory completion of the previous one.
Using Waterfall PMM can provide such benefits:
- Transparent and understandable structure: every step is described in details and all you have to do is to execute your part of work as perfect as it is possible.
- An easy way for further project support. The initial serious approach to collecting information and providing accessible documentation helps developers support and maintenance of the project in the future.
- Successful realization of simple short-time projects the projects with fixed requirements and time frames – Waterfall is the best for them and can bring you to the desired results.
However, we would emphasize that this technique cannot be suitable if you:
- Do not fully calculate the risks in the implementation of this project. Any error will be costly if there were some doubts about using some technology or adding or dropping any function.
- Faced with a project that has a very complex and ambiguous architecture. When working with such type of projects it is difficult to provide the final version of the product and be ready for all possible problems in the implementation.
PMM 3. Hybrid (Agile + Waterfall)
This PMM representative fully justifies his name – it is the popular collaboration of the two opposite techniques, Agile and Water, listed by us above. The goal of Hybrid creation was to contribute to the successful implementation of work on various types of projects.
Hybrid provides a clearly structured approach to the collection of data and the processing of information on the project with the ability to make any changes promptly without any disintegration of the entire workflow.
As it can be seen, the basic advantages of PMM Hybrid are its flexibility (Agile legacy) and a standardized approach to development and planning working parts (Waterfall idiosyncrasy), what makes it very much-in-demand.
Usually, Hybrid gets its traction in middle-sized projects of different levels of its complexity but with some exact calculations. Thanks to this project management methodology, it becomes possible to combine a sequential work with the ability to implement some new and more suitable technologies into the project.
However, Hybrid is the approach that requires compromises at any stage of the work, and this technique can be difficult to use in some young teams or startup companies.
PMMs 4 and 5. Critical family – Critical Path Method (CPM) and Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)
The three methodologies, that we listed above, have their origin from software development and work on IT projects. The PMM Critical Path Method and Critical Chain Project Management were made for use in the work with projects from other different spheres.
Critical way 1 – CPM
CPM allows you to customize all working processes by ranking them in their relevance and dependency from each other. The most useful thing in Critical Path Method is the possibility to make your work competent and to have more time with all the necessary activities without any overlapping.
With CPM, you receive the following benefits:
- Intelligible schedule, thanks to which you can do all your tasks on time. Getting into the habit of scheduling your activities a day, a week or a month and following it, you will be able to see the real progress of your project work.
- Prioritization is helpful for a better understanding of your project requirements. You are guided only by real needs and do not waste your time for some additional work processes.
Critical way 2 – CCPM
This approach was developed quite recently as one more variant of non-software project management methodology. Also, Critical Chain Project Management is considered to be an alternative to CPM methodology with its own features.
CCPM provides implies a highly professional way of the execution of work on the project. At the beginning it is critical to determine the main goal of the project and how it will look like at the final stage – and only after that, the entire workflow starts.
Based on its concept, CCPM provides the following advantages:
- Emphasis on appropriate management and use of resources. Every task that is being performed at the moment is justified by the most important project needs.
- Excellent providing and execution of all the necessary task thanks to a clear vision of the ultimate goal of the project.
To sum up, both CPM and CCPM have their own pros and features that can improve the project workflow. However, these PMMs are not for every cacasefor example:
- These present techniques may be complicated to use it in the work of the teams with little work history. Certainly, both of them are made for the companies and teams that have passed through many different projects and now they know what to do and what time they need to develop any part of the work.
- Both methodologies can not have enough flexibility in their time frames. If in the case of CPM it is technically impossible the backsliding of the work plan, then in CCPM saving of working resources does not mean saving in time – delays in performing tasks are a frequent phenomenon.
This article was a real challenge for us – there we tried to disclose the above five project management methodologies and consider their most useful qualities for implementing the projects not only in the IT field. We have also indicated some features and difficulties in implementing some techniques in practice – but one way or another, it rests with you to decide.
If your team is given the opportunity to develop some complicated and resource-intensive project and the technology, and you are confident in your abilities – go for it! Under good guidance and with skilled specialists, any project management methodology can become an excellent tool and a good helper in the implementation of every task.
By the way, we would appreciate your opinion about the PMMs we described and also your shared experience in using one of them. Please, write your thoughts in the comments below.